Who else loves fermented foods? Pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, jalapeños — literally, some of my favorite foods. Did you know some of your favorite foods are probably fermented too? Beer, some cheeses, wine and cacao beans are all fermented to make into chocolate.
There’s just something about the sour-salty and extra layers of flavor that make fermented foods so delicious and so much healthier for our systems. Microorganisms break the cells down so our bodies digest them better and absorb nutrients.
From Dr. Heartway: “Cats, and to some degree dogs, eat mostly fresh meat “in the wild”. However, their consumption of plant matter is mostly in the form of gut contents from prey. These contents, such as from the rumen of a deer or intestines of a mouse have already been partially broken down by bacteria… ie, fermented.”
How does it work?
When vegetables are sealed without air with a preservative like salt, natural bacteria and enzymes break down the raw vegetables into a more digestible and nutritious form.
“For those who have apprehensions about food safety, fermented vegetables can be safer than raw vegetables, thanks to the ability of lactic acid, which forms during fermentation, to hunt down and kill any harmful bacteria that might be present.”
I found someone on Instagram posting about fermenting vegetables for dogs and I immediately knew I had to start. The thing with fermented veggies is that it is SO easy to make (just let it sit for days!) and turns good foods into super foods.
I try to eat something fermented everyday (kimchi!) so that I know I’m getting those good probiotics for my gut.
It’s the same reason why yogurt is good for your gut and also for your dog’s digestion. Weston is allergic to dairy unfortunately so he doesn’t get to have yogurt too often. But with fermented vegetables, they’re getting all that good flora, it’s inexpensive and they have been devouring every bit! I’m so excited about it!
- a handful of vegetables (carrots, radish, cabbage, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, kale)
- sea salt or himalayan salt
- filtered water
- air-tight jars
- Chop the vegetables finely or throw into a food processor.
- Fill the jars with the tiny adorable veggies and fill to the top with salted water — just enough to cover the tops of the veggies. You can do anywhere from 1-3 TBSP of salt per 1 liter of filtered water.
- Store in dark place (warmer is better — fermentation takes a bit longer in a cool place).
- Open everyday to let air out. It creates pressurized gas and even “pops” when you open it. You can even buy lids specifically for fermentation that will release pressure on its own.
- Let sit for 7-10 days.
- At max, store one year in cool place. Once opened, it will last two weeks in fridge. You can freeze (which stops the fermentation process).
This is after 10 days of fermentation. I drained all the water and store them in the fridge in a container. I give the pups a spoonful per meal (breakfast + dinner). They have eaten every crumb and I think this will definitely become a regular thing. BTW, these are human-friendly too!
Next time I think I will shred the veggies so they are softer and even easier to chew. Hope this was helpful and do let me know if you give it a try!